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>> good morning, mr. barnacle. >> good morning, john. >> biff in new york city writes "when did msnbc start showing reruns of "the golden girls" at 5:30 a.m.? >> first of all, biff, name. go back to bed. all right? what's next? >> this is a proposal of sorts. ethel writes, mike, will you take me to my senior citizens center prom? >> you know, ethel, i'll check out the program. if guy lombardo is appearing so will i. that's about it. thanks, john. "morning joe" i can't believe we do this every day -- "morning joe" starts right now. jon huntsman should be a conservative hero. his program is the most conservative. red states eric erickson, george will, "the wall street journal" agree. huntsman has the best plan to fix the economy. jon huntsman's record is more conservative than newt gingrich and mitt romney combined, has better foreign policy
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experience, is more pro life and huntsman would be a more conservative president. jon huntsman, the consistent conservative who can win. our destiny pac is responsible for the content of this advertising. >> good morning. welcome to "morning joe." look at times square. it's tuesday, december 20th. we're counting down. with us onset we have msnbc and "time" magazine senior political analyst mark halperin and also visiting professor at nyu former democratic congressman harold ford jr. >> good morning. >> and a cranky and -- >> i love it. >> -- just what is that? >> look how well he is dressed. >> no, you're cranky. >> and he pulled it together. >> matching holes in his socks. tube socks. >> seriously, you act like you want to go back to sleep. why don't you? >> we have a lot going on. i want to talk to you about the huntsman ad. >> that was interesting. >> and the story on the front page of the "new york times" about gingrich, the super pacs that are absolutely killing him.
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>> before we get to that mark halperin you had an interesting tweet about the show today. we need a tape of ed sullivan going, this is a really, really big show. this is like night of the thousand shows. >> look at this. >> four potential future presidents. >> not counting regis. >> why not? >> i like him. >> all right. five potentials. >> there you go. >> you got mitt romney, he certainly could be president. >> running this year. >> chris christie could certainly be president. michael bloomberg could be president. and the fourth, harold ford. >> i thought we were going with mike barnicle's wife. >> no, ann is too smart to do that. but let's talk first of all about the huntsman ad. >> yeah. >> a big buy up in new hampshire and i guess the flood gates are
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about to open up now. first of all the message with huntsman, what they put there is basically what we've been arguing all along, and now george willis saying it, erick erickson saying it, "the wall street journal" saying it, "the national review" saying it. >> right. >> that huntsman is the conservative. >> there are two things. the conservative and also the discussion we've been having here is who could really give the president a run for his money in the general election? >> yeah. >> and they have that in the ad as well trying to bring that message home. but i think the thing that's interesting here with these ads coming in is that there are a lot of voters who say they could change their mind, that are undecided, that it is somewhat open and a message like this could break through. you never know. >> and "the national review", of course, talked about huntsman and mitt and santorum as being really the only three conservative candidates but among those there's no doubt the bill buckley test as we've said all along, mark halperin, which
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is you nominate the most conservative candidate who is electable, i think consistently, that's jon huntsman. the question is, does he connect now with these ads that just lay it out? it's not huntsman talking about huntsman but a super pac bringing the conservative stalwarts in american politics all in line with huntsman. does that move the needle? >> tv advertising still matters a lot in presidential politics. even though we have internet age and a lot of ways to communicate with voters, a lot of earned media, television news coverage of the candidates, television advertising matters and huntsman amazingly, a lot of amazing unexpected things have happened in his campaign since it started. he has not run a single television commercial on his own behalf. >> and now the number though, mike, of events that he's had in new hampshire, easily out paces everybody else. and this is -- i saw it in a very small case in my first
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campaign. i was basically at zero in the polls for a year and then the last two weeks the ads went up. and suddenly all of the -- 10,000 doors that i knocked on and the yard signs and it all comes together at the end. that still matters in new hampshire, doesn't it? the town hall meetings, the coffees, all the things he's been doing. >> a couple things matter in new hampshire. one is the ability to hit as many functions as you can. i mean, retail politics is still critical in new hampshire. >> that's still king in new hampshire. >> in some sense more important than tv. the other critical component in new hampshire happens to be the manchester union leader. in the week leading up to the primary. a couple interesting things i think are occurring not only in new hampshire but the republican world. one is the huntsman move, tv buys.
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the other is you get the sense that newt gingrich's assault on the judiciary this past weekend while aimed and probably works to a certain degree in iowa, has now, you get the sense from talking to people yesterday, has rippled through the republican party, and the word "unstable" is now attached to gingrich and his candidacy as in if this guy ever got the nomination the whole thing goes down. we lose the house. we have no shot at the senate. gone. >> but on the front page of the "new york times" today there is a story, mika, about the unprecedented attacks that newt has been receiving from all sides. >> it's unbelievable. >> from all sides. >> don't say it. >> i'm going to say something. >> no, no, no. i will not have it. >> no. >> i will not have it. you do not feel this way. get rid of it. >> i kind of feel bad for him. >> no, stop! what?
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>> but, because, listen, here's the deal. when he was number one in the polls and nobody was saying it, i said, hold on. hold on. this guy is not a conservative. and i gave all the reasons why. all right? but now, he's got seven candidates all focusing fire on him and in mitt romney's case using a super pac, a third party to level $2 million in attack ads against him, where mitt can say, hey, that's not me. i can't coordinate the message. i guess harold ford, yes. i have a lot of problems with newt gingrich. >> no. >> i have laid them out very clearly, right? but i guess you and i both know because our names have been on the ballot, if you spend $2 million on anybody over a course of a campaign, said something like iowa viewers had seen 1200
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negative attack ads over the past week against newt gingrich. you could do that to anybody and destroy them. i just -- it's one thing if it's an even fight. there's something wrong with this. is there not? again, i don't want to give people whip lash, somebody accused me of giving them whip lash yesterday but this is just a -- is it just me? >> yeah. >> is it just me? >> mm-hmm. >> this is what happened. you and i both know. this is what happens at the end of a campaign. the numbers are larger because we're nearing the end of the beginning of the process with the caucus in iowa. when you searurge to the lead ae did mitt romney has certainly taken his share of attacks over a period of time you have to come to expect this. i think gingrich has handled it about as well as he could. i think mike's point may be the
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most interesting of the morning thus far. >> i thought i made some great ones. >> mike's point about his suggesting to voters an instability, we had a conversation and you've had this conversation ongoing on the show about electability. i think the electability question around gingrich has emerged in a poignant way. >> right. >> republicans view it and you've said it many times. this may be a unique opportunity to win the white house with the president's numbers where they are. mike, you quoted some numbers this morning on "way too early" that are interesting. republicans are gaining. i was surprised at the narrow fw gap between the republicans' handling the economy and taxes. republicans are now understanding in a bigger way we have a real chance here. do we want to blow it with a newt gingrich? >> yeah. >> particularly after sochlt commen some of the comments in the last few days. i still believe romney looks stronger than he did before. i believe to halperin's point a week and a half ago romney is in
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as strong a position to win iowa as he has ever been and if he wins iowa and new hampshire this could be a shorter race than we anticipated. >> by the way, mika, there is a new "the washington post" poll out that has the president at 48%, doing very well. we'll compare that to some other polls. >> we should. >> but 48% the president would take that and 49% i'm sorry the president would take that and run if that were shared by nbc news/"wall street journal" as well as the gallup polls and the other polls. 49% is strong. >> the ads are talking newt gingrich is doing exactly what -- they're addressing the question we've been asking and the base should ask itself which is who can win? and can newt? but on the super pac money just this week a pro romney super pac is expected to spend $713,000 on tv ads in iowa alone. that's not including the projected $258,000 the romney campaign is coughing up. gingrich is just starting to hit the air in the hawkeye state
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spending just shy of a quarter million dollars this week and rick perry is betting big on iowa spending over $450,000 on tv ads there. >> so let me ask you, because since he's dropped in the polls, newt has acknowledged these negative ads are actually hurting him, you know, the perry ads are focusing on attacking gingrich. this is politics. so i'm not whining. i think, i guess what concerns me, is the creation of these super pacs allow you to launch negative ads against one person, whoever goes in front. >> right. >> and this -- if mitt romney were 30 points ahead then all be attacking mitt romney if they had the money with super pac ads. and keep your -- again, mitt can say i ain't got nothing to do with this. i can't coordinate the message. and it -- i think this is fairly unprecedented, right? what's happening to gingrich in iowa? >> because of the supreme court
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decision that allows this. look, there should be an instant disclosure. even if you don't think -- even if you think unlimited contributions, there should be instant disclosure who is giving the money for these things and there isn't. >> you don't have to disclose until the end of january. >> right. >> basically after the process is completely over. >> somebody could write a $20 million check to run negative ads on somebody. what's crazy is that no one is running ads against mitt romney even though as harold suggested he may be on the door step in three weeks of being a republican nominee. >> is michele bachmann -- i get the sense that if she and mitt haven't talked i get the sense somebody's telling her, you know, you could be a vice presidential candidate. i know she wants to win. but, boy, she is doing a -- mitt romney a big favor is she not? >> huge favor. every day. >> every day. >> her focal point is -- >> by the way, she is doing it
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very well. i would not want to be a defendant in a court where she's a prosecutor. she is, boy, she is the most improved. >> isn't that funny though? in the last month her campaign skills have upticked to the point on where she vernlgs ges being an effective candidate. >> she is. >> anybody out there who thinks negative ads don't work? wow. they work. >> look at newt's numbers. >> he has a lot of baggage, a lot of material to work with. >> hold on. negative ads, what do you mean? first of all you can talk about negative, unfair attack ads that are completely wrong including one by the way that the -- mitt romney put out about the president. >> right. >> which had something edited incorrectly to mischaracterize him. and then there are ads that just lay it out there. >> but people knew about -- here's the thing, mika. people knew about this, about newt. it was all out on the table.
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but if you repeat it time after time, there are things that each one of us have said on this set, me especially. if you just take snippet of that and run it 1200 times in a week. >> yeah. >> think about that. think about what you've done. and newt has -- he's kind of been like robert bork, where he's constantly trying to provoke people with big ideas. and so you open yourself up to an attack. but think about taking something that you said, something that you regret, and having it hammered 1200 times in a week. >> yeah. >> your numbers are going to go down. >> of course. >> hold on. >> and, i mean, the baggage is there and he is getting hammered with it, but last night gingrich responded i think in the best way he could and probably a smart way telling his opponents to hold their fire because republican infighting is only going to help the president. take a listen. >> be nice if candidates were
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responsible for the things being done by the people who know them personally who are helping them get elected. my plea is simple. when you see one of these guys ask him how can they keep running this negative stuff? they ought to be ashamed of themselves. they ought to take this junk off the air and don't hide behind some bologna about the super pac that i actually have no control over that happened to be run by five of my former staff. that's just bologna. >> and that's the truth. >> there you go. >> harold, that super pac that i got nothing to do with but just happens to be run by five of my former staff. you could say that about all the super pacs. >> takes one to know one right? >> if he had been saying that for the last several days, i think what helped turn his campaign around and you commented on this from when it happened. during the debates when he had a reagan moment saying i'm not going to speak ill of another republican, saying it over and over again, it helped him. two, on bachmann, i think gingrich hurt himself when he looked chauvinistic and patient ronizing saying she has
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leveraged that and turned it around. as i listen to everybody talk about romney his numbers have not moved from 20% to 25% so attacking romney if you're rick perry or anyone else you are not going to take his base. he clearly has 24, 25, now 28% who say we are with him. if you are perry you go after the 75% to 80%. >> exactly. that's why they're all savaging gingrich. >> exactly. >> they can gain from attacking gingrich whereas if you attack romney those moderates aren't going to come over to you anyway. >> which is why i think even gingrich's point -- they don't hurt romney at all. they hurt perry and others who may avert support to romney because gingrich can't win. >> i asked do you think the candidates should call on their super pacs to not run negative ads? he said that's up to them. he didn't have the platform to break through and try to jujitsu these negative ads because
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otherwise unless he can make them back fire they'll kill him. >> he really needs to focus on it because right now it's 7-1. he needs to focus on that. i think the way you do that best is saying, well obviously. if i got seven people attacking me, i'm doing something right. they're scared of me and they're scared of you. and they're scared of us together because they know we can win and we can change this party and that's why the republican establishment wants to kill me. they kill me once they want to kill me again. but you can stop them from doing that. >> it's amazing to watch. >> it is. >> you talked about the president's approval ratings. here is the new "the washington post"/abc news poll showing obama's approval rating. currently the highest it's been since march. the poll shows 49% of americans approve of the job the president is doing. 47% disapprove. here is how that "the washington post" poll stacks up to the nbc news, "wall street journal", and gallup polls showing this month, july and then march as well.
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>> can i ask you something? let's keep those up. can i ask you something about "the washington post" poll? >> mm-hmm. >> i don't want obama people to hate me for saying this. i am happy for him that they're at 49%. that's a good christmas gift. but it seems that "the washington post" poll has become what the cbs/"new york times" poll used to be, which used to be slanted left like rasmussen seems to be slanted right. now "the washington post" poll always seems to be four or five percentage points higher in the president's favor than all the other polls out there. have you noted that? >> i've noted that's the case. i think that is a very solid poll. i think it is the second best poll in the country after the nbc/"wall street journal" poll and i think we need to play it out a little bit more over time. but i've noticed the same thing you have. slightly higher. >> it excuse left. >> within the margin of error. not the way the cbs poll sometimes has in the past where it is way different. >> but the margin of error is always in the democrats' favor in every poll.
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it's not like one month it'll be three points below gallup or three points below the nbc news/"wall street journal" poll. it excuse left. do some organizations, i'm just curious, i always thought the cbs "new york times" poll did this, but, mike, you work for "the globe." did some newspapers, media outlets know, certainly rasmussen seems to do it on the right. but do they know what their readers want to see and do they skew the polls a bit? >> no. i don't think so. it depends on who your pollster is. you know going in that sometimes pollsters have an inherent bias in terms of the methodology. but no newspaper i ever worked for intentionally excuse the polls. one interesting thing going on about these poll numbers is while we've been focusing on the republican caucuses and the republican primaries, the economy has gotten a little bit better around us. just a little bit. the president -- >> do you see that?
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>> the numbers are showing a little positive uptick. >> president obama has ended our involvement in iraq. >> that's great news. and the president really needs to be saluted for doing that in the face of some opposition from republicans. >> and in terms of real politics he handled that really well. >> so you have the economy improving just a tiny bit. you have our pulling out of iraq. and you have this big debate in washington which we feel like we've seen before because we have on the payroll tax cut. don't you think that's playing into some positive numbers for the president? >> maybe. what concerns me about the jobs, mika, what concerns me about the jobs and about the economy is the fact that you have stores -- i was in tuscaloosa, alabama this past weekend to see joey graduate. >> congratulations. >> thank you. i'm going to starbucks at 6:30 in the morning. the tuscaloosa mall open at 6:00 a.m. >> yes. >> ann taylor in manhattan open 24 hours a day. stories now showing that retailers are panicked
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trying to be open on christmas day. >> after a big first weekend, everything has died. they're cutting prices now in an unprecedented way. i'm scared. i'm really scared. because the consumers are in retreat still. i'm scared. i'm one of these guys, i don't care who is president. i'm going to cheer when the unemployment rate goes down but i'm not convinced this economy is getting better. i'm nervous. >> well, we have a very big show this morning where we can talk about this. >> a huge show. >> on the set we'll have mitt romney, governor chris christie, mayor michael bloomberg, and regis. >> regis! >> yes. >> it gets no better than that. >> i cannot wait. >> it gets no better than that. >> also, monday night fiasco. for more than 30 minutes, fans sat in the dark. >> what? >> at candlestick park. during last night's steelers/49ers game. >> what is this, afghanistan? >> we'll show you what happened
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when the lights eventually came back on. but first -- >> actually north korea speaking of having his lights out. >> bill karins, check on the forecast. >> even if the lights are on nobody is home. can we have some snow on christmas, bill? can you do that for sinus. >> you have to go a little further north. they got a chance on christmas day up in new england. but not the mid-atlantic. sorry, guys. as far as your forecast goes today, it's a cool day out there but at least it's going to be dry in new england. we do have the huge storm we'll talk about out west in a second but it's a mild morning. you'll notice it today. felt a lot better this morning than it did yesterday morning out there. especially the big cities of i-95. not a bad day. temperatures in the 30s and 40s. pittsburgh, some light rain right now. there is a little snow just north of pittsburgh outside the city. we also have a little snow out there in northern indiana and northern ohio. it's not going to stick though. temperatures are too warm on the ground. so we'll have some snow out there. the worst of it is that big blizzard out there in colorado and kansas but that's missing a
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lot of the big cities. interstate 70 the worst drive in the country in the morning. as far as your tuesday forecast also watch out in new orleans, alabama, mississippi. eventually some of those thunderstorms and rain will slide your way. but overall, i really don't have the big snowy forecast for anyone as we head toward the big weekend. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. let 's go to vegas. alright, let's do it. let's do it, let's go to vegas. vegas baby!
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and video chat with up to 9 of your friends with the galaxy nexus by samsung, or get the samsung stratosphere, and for a limited time, get twice the data for the same low price. verizon. now everybody is worried who will take over for kim jong il. they think it will be his idiot son kim he is also survived by his daughter kim jiang-dashian. now it's time for another news segment. i love it when we have the new segments.
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this one is entitled "things we will miss about kim jong-il." ♪ >> nothing! >> welcome back to "morning joe." we'll get to the papers in a second. really quickly, let's talk about big things going on. first of all, at&t, t-mobil, the deal blew up last night. >> i think it potentially is a bad thing for consumers and customers. there is a great demand for wireless service. >> why did it blow up? >> there was a belief by the administration that this would reduce competition and raise costs of prices for consumers. in fact, i think probably the opposite. i think the desire to enter this market is not great. if you have an opportunity to increase spectrum you'll make service fast, even more reliable okay. >> i'm concerned about it and it is unfortunate that i believe the outcome here. >> there is also a battle between apple and google. apple won a round.
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but yet apple, i was asking you guys during the break, have you noticed the glitches? like apple, i used to love apple because it's so reliable, you open it up, it's ready to go. the glitches, though, on mainly lion, the new account -- >> awful. >> but i will tell you also service on the ipad, i had the biggest problem getting my -- getting this thing to work in a lot of different ways. the account, the accounting, i-cloud, apple is starting to stumble in ways that i never thought it would. >> is the system overwhelmed? did it try to do too much to soon? >> what's going on? >> sometimes they put out stuff and it's not quite ready and the kinks need to be worked out. sometimes it's better to wait and let other people -- >> do you guys agree there are glitches that -- >> first of all the lion operating system is tremendous. don't get it. >> it's awful. >> it is horrendous. >> who said i'm going to make it impossible for people to find the little thing on the side? who was the moron inside of
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apple? first of all with the idea to make it impossible to scroll up and down the screen. everybody i talked to has that problem. they hate it. how did that get out the front door? >> boy. >> i wish the guy would identify himself and come on the show. >> it is the stupidest thing i've ever seen. but i-cloud, you don't think i-cloud is not -- >> i-cloud will destroy your professional life. >> okay. >> it ate my book. >> that's a lie. >> sure. let's look at the morning papers. >> i actually like i-cloud. >> the "new york times" says just one day after the last u.s. combat troops left iraq plunged into crisis and the sunni vice president was accused of running a death squad that assassinated police officers and government officials. the major sunni backed coalition threatened to walk off the job saying prime minister al malaki is trying to marginalize his rivals. >> bad news for iraq. from "the times" paul mccartney
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is putting-on-ate album that pays tribute to the music that inspired he and john lennon in their youth calling it the songs that inspired the songs. it features two original tracks and is due out in february and i cannot wait. >> from our parade of papers in "the boston globe" the red sox are making themselves at home in florida at the team's spring training facility in ft. myers. the new jetblue ballpark is a replica of fenway with identical field dimensions and even a green monster in left field. a fabulous park. >> fantastic. >> i love fenway. >> i love jetblue and jetblue park in ft. myers. >> i love it. >> i guess we have to go to ft. myers now. >> i've been promising my son. we've got to go there. >> let's do the show from ft. myers. >> all right. with us now chief white house correspondent for politico mike alan here with the morning playbook. i take it there is a big story brewing in iowa that's called
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ron paul. >> it is. mika, when weal arrive in iowa shortly after christmas one of the biggest stories is going to be the angst and worry among the republican establishment including the governor that ron paul would actually win this. if ron paul comes in first and we've talked about why any kind of ron paul victory will have an asterisk next to it. he is not going to be the nominee. how it would really discredit the iowa process. there would be no clear way to put it in that iowa is representative of the republican party. >> what are you saying to ron paul supporters who say that the media is biased by saying ron paul can't win the nomination? >> well, i would say their candidate should not be going on debates saying that we're over estimating the nuclear threat from iran. for one thing. but you don't say anything to ron paul supporters. they're doing the right thing. they should work as hard as they
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can. they should get their guy in. republicans in iowa are saying, this is going to cause our process to be backed up. so already the iowa governor is saying, well, a second place finish for mitt romney is going to get him a good boost going into new hampshire. they're also putting out the idea that part of this ron paul victory, there is a little polling evidence in this, comes from independents, democrats, who are switching their registration. now that is not how people vote. i predict this is not going to be a big factor. independents, democrats, are not going to bother to go out to candidates to try and mess up this process but the fact they're putting it out there is one sign of how worried they are. >> well, ron paul doing very well in iowa of course. and he's doing pretty well in new hampshire too. >> he'll be in new hampshire today and he is still on tv. he's been on tv more and longer than most of the others. >> he is organizing very well. there are a lot of comparisons to mike alan, a lot of comparisons to what happened in
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2004 with all the counts we saw running around for howard dean. those were a lot of young people shipped in from out of state. ron paul does have an organization on the ground out in iowa doesn't he? >> that's right. the nightmare scenario is that a win in iowa would empower ron paul. he would then falter and run as an independent. we've agreed the math shows an independent run by ron paul would all but guarantee an obama victory. so are the caucuses changing? has the rise of debates, the importance of the paid advertising diminished? that retail component that made iowa and new hampshire so unique? >> thank you very much. coming up mitt romney stopped by the letterman studio last night to give his top ten things he'd like to say to the american people. >> this is going to be big. >> more "morning joe" when we come back.
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things mitt would like to get off his chest. number 10.
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>> isn't it time for a president who looks like a 1970s game show host? what's up, gangsters? it's the m.i. double tizzle. i have no proof but via feeling canada is planning something. actually, i'm only here to meet tom cruise. >> that's why we're all here. >> my new cologne is now available at macy's. it's mits-tified. i just used all my campaign money to buy a zoo with matt damon. i can do a lot but even i can't fix the indianapolis colts. >> hey, hey, we won yesterday. [ applause ] but yeah. what about your patriots? what about those guys? like to see them win something. number two? >> newt gingrich, really? >> yeah, yeah. that's right. and then the number one thing mitt romney would like to say to the american people. >> it's a hair piece. >> there you go.
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>> ooh. that was good. >> cute. >> pretty good. >> he's on the show today. >> some lights out football last night. >> really. lights out. >> colts/49ers. two playoff bound teams, monday night football, 49ers hosted the steelers. but first they had to get the lights working. a transformer apparently blew up at kickoff. knocked out power in the stadium. 20 minutes later the game finally under way. first quarter no score. ben roethlisberger playing on a bad ankle was picked off. cornerback carlos rogers. that set up a field goal. roethlisberger sprained his ankle. he threw two interceptions so 12 minutes left in the half. power goes out again. what is this? nobody east of the mississippi watched this. okay? >> this isn't happening. >> no. >> if you have a satellite picture of oakland and san francisco, they could have been playing in baghdad the way the lights went out. fourth quarter frank lewis sealed the deal. five-yard touchdown.
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49ers win, 20-3. they set an nfl record, joe. first team in nfl history to hold an opponent without a rushing touchdown to each of the first 14 games. incredible. >> who did that? the niners allowed a rushing touchdown? that's what it said here. but i somehow question that. it is correct? >> i think they're making things up. >> that is a -- >> are you -- that's a record? >> yeah. >> alex? >> for the nfl. >> big weekend. the packers lose, learn how to defend. it's stale lo ae's still a lose learn to beat them. >> it's great seeing the niners come back. a classic team. >> yeah. >> i get back to the days. remember brody against roman gabriel? >> yeah. >> the fact that the rams were -- hey, somebody needs to move to l.a. they need a football --
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>> okay. time for a break. we'll be right back. i'd like one of those desserts and some coffee. sure. cake or pie? pie. apple or cherry? cherry. oil or cream? oil or cream? cream. reddi-wip uses real dairy cream. nothing's more real than reddi-wip. nyqui tylenol: me, too. and cougnasal congestion.ers? reddi-wip uses real dairy cream. nyquil:what? tissue box (whispering): he said nasal congestion... nyquil: i heard him. anncr vo: tylenol cold multi-symptom nighttime
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mika, we were talking about the rams, the l.a. rams. >> yes. >> which of course brings us -- i hear our good friend may be behind or part of that effort already trying to bring a football team to l.a. >> okay. >> i hope it ends better than it did on entourage. >> now stop. >> that was kind of ugly. when you talk about the l.a. rams, of course we need the l.a. rams back. but that brings us to "heaven can wait" one of the great movies of all time. >> absolutely. and further proof that los angeles does need a pro football team. >> exactly. i think mika even saw "heaven can wait." >> i think i did. kind of a long time ago. >> warren beatty, james mason, julie christie. >> jack warden.
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>> that was a great movie. >> do you know what movie it was based on? >> "heaven can wait?" >> a movie called "here comes mr. jordan." >> really. >> a classic. >> you're like chris matthews. you watch too many movies. >> in many ways. >> yes. all right. i had no idea. >> time for the must read opinion pages. >> get chris back on the show. >> "national review." the gingrich gestault. by mark stein. what exactly is so conservative about newt gestalt? when romney dared him to return his freddie mack windfall gingrich responded by demanding that mist give back all of the money he's earned from his years at bing. that is a cute line if you're a 32-year-old transgender and colonialism trying to warm up drum circle at occupy wall street but it's very odd in the final stretch of a republican
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primary. at freddie mac newt was peddling influence to a quasi--governmental entity. at bing capital romney was risking private equity and private business enterprise. what sort of conservative would conflate the two? >> all right. >> would you consider that an attack? >> no. i think that is legitimate. >> just a basic question? >> but there is an awful lot of that going on out there. >> well yeah. it's just weird that -- i'm not sure where your emotion is coming from. >> well, but you notice he stole donny's word, gestault. >> he did. >> that's okay. >> you wrote a really important piece. >> why thank you for saying so, mika. >> you're welcome. it's true. that's why i'm saying it. >> okay. >> the fog of war continues over iraq. this is in politico. bush may have been eager to march american troops into baghdad but he was far from alone. democrats like bill clinton, hillary clinton, joe biden, john kerry, and john edwards had been itching to overthrow saddam hussein since the time bush was spending his afternoons in the
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texas governor's mansion using his office computer to play video golf and fine tune his fantasy baseball teams. the iraq war framed a disastrous decade for u.s. foreign policy. president obama should be praised for bringing it to a close. as we move forward into even more uncertain times, americans should always remember that the iraq war was not the product of one man or one party but of a political system that continues to betray the very citizens it is supposed to protect and serve. >> well said. >> the quotes, mike barnicle, when i started researching this, the quotes from democratic leaders, from the "new york times", from "the washington post", through 2002, sounded like it was written by george w. bush's speechwriters. and this amnesia as we move out of iraq, what it really shows is
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that the party that is in power has to immediately transform itself to being a pro war party. and we've seen it even now with barack obama tripling the number of troops in afghanistan, etcetera, etcetera. the democrats were for the war when bill clinton was president and against the war when george w. bush was president despite the fact that the democrats and bill clinton passed resolutions supporting regime change. but there is this collective amnesia that is so irritating to me. >> you can also add to that indictment. including the collective amnesia, and throw large elements of the american media into the equation. >> right. >> for helping cheer lead us into the war led by -- led by arguably america's greatest newspaper the "new york times." >> but remember, i was in congress when the vote came about for giving then president bush the authority to go in.
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>> did you vote -- >> i did. it was predator kaicated upon - resolution was not to go to war. colin powell went before the u.n. and laid out what we believed were the facts and the facts said if we find these things the president should have the right to go to war but we'll exhaust every option. he won a unanimous vote secretary powell did on the u.n. security council to go forward. not with war but to go in to inspect and if we exhausted every option then to go to war. once we learned there were no weapons of mass destruction in fairness, joe, there were many democrats who said, this was now time to pull back. democrats fought funding. now, some can argue if you have war you don't fight funding but there were democrats who suggested we pull back. in all fairness to president obama when he ran he called it a war that we should not have been in. he said afghanistan was the right war. so you have to give them more credit. you did at the beginning of the show. but i think it's only fair. he has followed through fully on his foreign policy in fairness to the president. >> i bring it up in the piece though also. if you go back and look at what
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he said, what barack obama said about general petraeus, about the surge, accusing petraeus in effect of being a liar, parroting what the ad said, if you look at other people that ran the administration, if you look at what rahm emanuel, the former chief of staff said about general petraeus, that was equally shameful. but again, the collective amnesia on that side of it, too. >> democracy. >> they were all wrong about petraeus. they were all wrong about the surge. and yet the media somehow forgets that as well. >> democracy means three things. people in the opposite party from the president who are willing to support the president when they think he's right. you need people in the president's party willing to oppose him in matters of war when they think he's wrong. and we need media that is willing to -- and determined to question the decision to go to war. we didn't have that over the last decade and i worry we don't have it now. >> you know what else we need? we need a draft. i will tell you why. because if we had a draft the second we found out there
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weren't weapons of mass destruction -- >> gone. >> mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, husbands and wives would demand that their family members came home and they would have been coming out of iraq by the end of 2004 instead of the end of 2011. >> draft raises the bar to the right level. >> the draft raises the bar so america has investments in war. get everybody more responsible. i want to say again, i salute barack obama for having the courage to stand up politically to some republicans in the united states senate. not an easy decision. i hope he will do the same in afghanistan sooner rather than later. we don't need to wait until 2014 to know that that war is over. we have done our job. we have killed osama bin laden. we have destroyed al qaeda in afghanistan. it is time to bring those troops home now. >> all right. coming up a little later we're going to have presidential candidate mitt romney on the
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set. in a few minutes governor chris christie will be here. also, mayor bloomberg and regis. >> regis! >> that is the dream ticket right there. [ laughing ] [ cat yodeling ] honey, check your email! [ cellphone chimes ] [ cat yodeling ] kids! [ cat yodeling ]
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mika, i'm going to need your counsel on this.
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>> oh, really. >> this has been getting a lot of buzz on the internet yesterday but i don't understand what the big deal is. barney frank. >> what? >> he's on the floor of the house. okay? he's not wearing a shirt and tie because he has his left arm in a cast. >> right. >> he broke his -- >> is he okay? >> i hope so but a lot of people were taking a look at the outfit and wondering about it. >> yeah. >> you know, i mean, i'm not the person to criticize. >> he is not dressed well. >> but, you know, i think if he went to gentlemen's warehouse along with me we could both say we like the way we look. apparently he likes the way he looks. but there is another pretty good outfit. you know, that yellow shirt that you like so much. >> yeah, barnicle, that was unbelievable at 6:00 in the morning. you blinded me. >> that was really -- >> barney frank in his own way is, too. >> looks like he would have some tips for you. >> yeah. yeah. >> we haven't shopped together but it looks as if we may have. >> what do we do with that, you know? >> harold will tell you that sometimes it's very cold on the house floor.
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>> were you ever that cold? >> you know, joe -- >> what was that? >> okay. >> mike -- >> who is in the green room right now? >> you didn't need to do that. >> i thought you'd like it. >> yeah. >> great. standing by in the green room. >> oh, yeah. >> we've got governor chris christie. >> okay. >> we like it. >> he liked it. come on. >> we'll be right back. top v neck
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it's wonderful to be an author and editor but i'm talking about leading an organization, a group of people, growing something, hiring people, firing people, all the process of leadership. he's never had that experience. he didn't recognize that part of leadership is finding allies and friends across the aisle and building relationships of trust and respect with them, working to find common ground and whether you do that in the private sector or in the voluntary sector as i did at the olympics, or in the state of massachusetts where my legislature was 85% democrat, i've had the experience of leadership. this president hasn't. >> is he a socialist? >> i prefer to use the term he is just over his head. i consider him a big government liberal democrat and as you look at his policies you conclude he thinks europe got it right and we got it wrong. >> here we go. welcome back to "morning joe." joining the table, republican governor from new jersey, governor chris christie is back.
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>> he has come to straighten you out, mika. >> i don't think so. i think he and i need to talk. >> the time has come. i have been here alone. i've been surrounded. thank you for your texts. >> everybody analyzing the republican field. here's what's happening. you're veering. you used to be a voice of reason. you play it both ways now. you're diving deeply into the obama tank. >> really. >> yeah, you are. >> really. >> just are. you know it's the truth. >> does that hurt? >> it does hurt me because you know i love mika. just diving deep in the tank. all we're looking for is just a little bit to the middle of the road. on the boulevard, mika. you're veering off into the shoulder. >> he's got a really good point. >> no. he doesn't.
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>> all i'm saying. you're veering off. >> really. are we talking about the payroll tax cut debate? what are we talking about specifically, chris christie? >> do i have an hour today? >> i want to talk to you about mitt romney and we're going to get there because i've got some good questions for you. >> i'm ready. >> go ahead. what is your criticism exactly? >> first of all, you watch every day, right? >> i do. >> so you -- it seems to me -- have a legitimate beef against mika. >> i wouldn't say beef. >> this is an intervention. come on. let it out. >> it's objective. >> across the river. >> objective. halperin is on his game this morning. i'm just looking to give you, from a friend. >> yeah. >> an objective perspective. so here's one criticism. >> hum. >> you know, your definition recently of compromise is, everybody agrees with what the president wants so we can compromise. that's not what compromise is. what compromise is, okay. you want a payroll tax cut to continue even though it has done nothing to stimulate the economy?
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that's okay because philosophically you and the president believe in that but the republicans say then build the pipeline so we can get 20,000 new jobs and put people back to work. the president doesn't want that either philosophically. how about we bring people together and we compromise? >> really? >> and all the people said, amen. >> no. you really want to take this on when, quite frankly you know the democrats gave up the millionaire surtax on the pipeline itself, a two-month extension just to get something done and then the republicans turned around on that. >> some people amount to nothing. two months of what is that going to do exactly except to panned sner here is my with you. >> oh, yeah. >> you've said -- >> you say this out of love. >> out of a deep and abiding love. and what i'm telling you is that you keep saying you don't want politicians to pander. >> right. >> but the two-month payroll tax is nothing but a pander. >> all right. >> that is all it is. >> it's an expensive pander. >> if you want it free here, give the republicans something they want to. >> they have gotten what they
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wanted. >> what is that? >> the democrats have given in on several conditions. it's paid for. >> no, no. >> you can't say that the president and democrats have not given anything on this. you just can't. that's just simply not true. >> when you have divided government, i've learned this in new jersey, look what we've gotten done. 2% property tax cut. interest arbitration cut. sweeping pension and benefit reform. all done in a bipartisan way. did i get every bit of what i wanted? no. here's what i'm telling people in new jersey and you this morning, mika, out of love. okay. >> abiding love. >> there is always a boulevard that exists between getting everything you want and compromising your principles. sometimes it's narrow. sometimes it's broad. a leader's job is to navigate on to that boulevard. you are a leader of morning television. navigate on to the boulevard. >> come on, mika. >> i'm going to do that right now. >> join me and barnicle. i don't know where halperin is. join us on the boulevard. by the way -- >> the door is open. >> yeah. >> my shirt is smart this
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morning. >> thank you, governor. >> smart and neat. >> you're doing what joe does. >> what? >> filibustering. >> it's a beautiful shirt. >> it is not going to work. i have a question. >> that is a beautiful shirt. >> thank you. >> genuinely out of love, you talk about the president's leadership and my way or the highway style or lack thereof so let me ask you about mitt romney. >> sure. >> because mitt romney also was questioning the president's leadership and ability to reach across the aisle last night. >> yeah. >> in his interview with bill o'reilly. >> i saw that. >> i'd like to know exactly why mitt romney, the candidate of your choice. >> yes, ma'am. >> i'm not sure i fully believe but i'll go with it. >> keep on walking. >> i'll take your word. i'll keep walking. >> i'm ready. >> how do we expect him to reach across the aisle if he can't even get to his base? and really get his party to get onboard with him at this late stage in the game? >> well, listen. one thing i've observed about politics is everything is bologna until you start voting. nobody has voted yet. and these polls show you they're bologna.
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newt gingrich was up 20 points, two weeks ago. now he's down. you know, cain was up. now he's out. bachmann was up. now she is in the back of the pack. rick perry was up. no one has voted yet. i know we have to talk about these polls because it's what you guys do and part of what you talk about every day. >> come on. you look at the polls ev every morning. >> but that doesn't determine -- mika said he can't get his base. mitt romney is going to be the republican nominee for president and when he is, he has proven before he can reach across the aisle. he was the governor in massachusetts with an overwhelmingly democratic legislature and got things done when he was there. that is something barack obama has never in his life proven he can do. voting presence in the illinois state legislature doesn't count. not voting and not showing up in the united states senate doesn't count. if he wanted to continue to be somebody who was a bystander he could have stayed in congress his whole career and not be held accountable for anything. but you know what? it is time to be held accountable and he has not stood up the test of leadership.
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mitt romney has done that before and i think when you see it come down to a choice between mitt romney and barack obama, you are going to see one person has had executive leadership in the private sector and as governor and someone who still is searching around in the dark room to try to find the light switch of leadership. hasn't found it yet. >> see if he can close the deal. mark halperin? >> what have you heard from your fellow republican governors and other leading republicans about what would happen if newt gingrich were at the top of the ticket for either party? >> i think the problem for us, if speaker beginning dwrich wgi top is the election would be about speaker gingrich and not the president. as republicans i think this election has to be about the president. the speaker just can't help himself but to make himself the center of attention all the time for the comments he makes. as a result even though some of his ideas i think are fine, i think some aren't, in the end he's going to carry so much of that into an election that, you know, the election is going to be about newt gingrich. i don't think that is a good thing for our party. >> would he be a strong candidate in new jersey in the general election? >> no. >> why not?
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>> new jersey is going to be a tough state for any republican so start with that as a granted. i think new jerseyans have a long memory about his time as speaker of the house and i don't think -- he was very unpopular in new jersey back then. >> why? >> i think people saw him as uncompromising and incindiary when he was speaker. so -- >> how do you -- >> a very fair way of pitting it. >> -- balance things looking at newt. have you ever met newt? >> yeah. >> do you like him personally? >> i don't know him well enough to say if i like him personally. certainly he didn't offend me when i met him. >> here is the thing that conservatives seem to be grappling with. he makes a lot of statements that will hurt him in states like new jersey, pennsylvania, illinois, indiana, in swing states. yet if you look at his voting record, over 90%, acu, lifetime voting record, over three decades in the house. he balanced the budget, helped lead the charge or balance the budget for the first time in a
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generation, balanced it four times in a row since the 1920s. welfare reform. if you look at his record, it's a very conservative record. it's historically conservative. how do you balance -- >> i don't know whether i agree with it being historically conservative but here is the bottom line from my perspective. >> what was accomplished from '95 through '98 when he was speaker of the house? >> there were a lot of things accomplished but if you talk to john kasich he would tell you it wasn't solely because of newt gingrich. >> right. >> you talk to other members of your class in the house they wouldn't say it was because of newt gingrich. in fact, many would say it was in spite of newt gingrich. okay? all right. so that's one thing. i mean, secondly what i tell you, too, is that as a governor i know now after two years of doing this job there is nothing that teaches you how to lead and how to make executive decisions like having to make them. he has never had to make them. i think we've gone down the road having a legislature as president. >> that is why we don't elect senators? >> i think that is typically why we don't because folks in the senate, in the house, don't have
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to make decisions. there is always a subcommittee vote i voted a different way, i passed an amendment to the bill and they never have to take responsibility. when you're a governor you have to take responsibility. in new jersey in the end i'm held responsible for what's going on. and so i've got to find a way to make things work with the democratic legislature and divided government. i can't sit around and whine and moan like the president has been doing. it's the republicans. come on. >> i hear this a lot from the left especially from people that are going to support barack obama no matter what and i heard it from the right when bush was president. people that support bush no matter what. but it is amazing to me how not only the democratic base but also the media have become apologists for the president basically throwing his hands up in the air and saying, i'm powerless. i can't do anything. i may control the executive branch. i may control the united states senate. but i can't do anything because the republicans control the house of representatives. >> first of all --
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>> he's -- and we hear in the "new york times" this weekend, he's not even talking to house republicans anymore at all. i understand he can say the republicans are terrible. yes they've been terrible. but when you're an executive you don't have that option. do you? >> listen, joe. the speaker of our state assembly called me mentally deranged in the newspaper. >> right. >> our senate president called me rotten fill in the blank. there were a couple bad words i won't say on television in the newspaper. do i then say to myself? i'm not going to talk to them anymore. that's it. they called me these names. >> you don't have that option do you? >> no. you're a leader. when you are the executive you don't have that option. my quarrel with the president is that he has not stepped up and led. he has not stepped up and led. he hasn't done the things you need to do, the difficult things you need to do to lead. that is my problem with the president. of course i have philosophical differences with him but in the end he has ntd stepped up and led. simpson/bowles is the perfect example. we have a contrast between me
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and the president and new jersey and the country. simpson/bowles came out. difficult, tough medicine. i don't agree with every part but it was a common sense plan to deal with this debt over the long term. he asked for it and he took it, politically put it on the shelf. in new jersey we put forward a pension and benefit plan that hurt, hurt everybody. >> you passed it. >> we fought for it. we passed it. we now will have a solvent pension system and a health benefit system where everybody pays their fair share. >> let's get back to the boulevard. you know, up on the boulevard there was a wide boulevard or narrow boulevard. >> it's always there. >> looking for consensus. >> yep. >> what do you do on the boulevard trying to get on to the boulevard when you have to deal with what john boehner and eric canter are dealing with, recalcitrant percentage of republicans in the house who no matter how much you say, let's get up on the boulevard they say, no. we're going on to the walt whitman roadside rest area and bitch. what do you do? >> the walt whitman rest area isn't the right place to bitch.
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go to the vince lombardi rest area. anyway, the republicans did find a way. i mean, do the keystone pipeline and they're going to do the payroll tax cut. you can't say they've always been recalcitrant. they say okay. you want us to do something that politically we don't want to do because we don't think it works economically? all right. we'll swallow that, mr. president. but you need to do the keystone pipeline which you don't want to do philosophically because we believe it'll create jobs. that's the boulevard. so you can't say in every instance republicans are recalcitrant. i've been very critical of congress and i've said, they are not talking to each other. they're talking at each other. it's harry reid and mitch mcconnell and the speaker and nancy pelosi sound biting at each other and all of the rest of the people underneath them. >> republicans and democrats and congress -- >> everybody is -- >> have let the congress down. >> sure. my point though thon this lates flat -- the republicans have offered a compromise. they're willing to swallow the one-year payroll tax cut if in
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return they get the keystone pipeline done something they believe strongly will create jobs. i know the president doesn't want that but they don't want the payroll tax cut because they don't think it works economically. that is the boulevard. you have to swallow that sometimes if you're the president of the united states. and divided government, to get done what you want to get done. >> you're going to lose this one but i hear you on that one. >> how did i lose it? >> no, the republicans are. they're going to look terrible like they don't want us to have a tax cut. >> do you not like jobs? >> no. they just look like they want to basically impede the president every step of the way. every step of the way. >> oh, come on. >> listen, they haven't impeded the president. first of all -- >> come on. >> the president had a democratic congress the first two years and frittered it away. then all of a sudden now he is complaining his presidency is not a success because he's had a year, a year of republicans. >> not even a year. isn't that amazing. >> cry me a river. do your job.
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>> you want to connect? >> governor, i want to connect because i get so few chances. like my 3-year-old boy, his teacher teaches him about making connections. >> right. >> with other people. >> oh, good. >> something we have in common. >> i'm glad somebody will teach him that. >> i'm making a connection with you by the way. >> i feel it. >> i'm going to stay out of it. halperin is sweating over there he feels it so much. we are making a connection. >> i am going to make my connection with you just for a second then i'll back away and let you complete that connection. >> thank you. >> it is this. the media acts as if the first two years of the obama presidency never took place. they act as if this president didn't have a filibuster proof senate, did not have a 79-vote majority. and we hear time and time again that the republicans have derailed the obama presidency because he's lost one chamber. it is a ridiculous argument. >> listen, i couldn't agree more. >> thank you. >> and i'll tell you something else. the president has forgotten about that. >> yeah.
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well. >> and the president doesn't want to talk about it because he is in re-elect mode. that is fine. he has decided to fritter away the last quarter of the year here running for re-election. let me tell you something. i saw you guys going wild over that speech in kansas. >> oh, it was fabulous. i loved it. it was so damn good. >> that was such a ridiculous, p pablum filled pander. for barack obama who is probably the weakest president i've seen in my lifetime to stand up and utter his name in the same breath as teddy roosevelt. are you kid sng and to say it's time to step up to our game, meet the moment. we were waiting for you to meet the moment for three years, mr. president. >> that is so easy for you to say, chris. >> what is it easy for me to say? i've had to face much tougher things in new jersey from a political perspective than he has. i have a state that is overwhelmingly democratic. i have a legislature that is overwhelmingly democratic.
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we accomplished the things i mentioned before plus balancing two budgets without raising taxes on the people in new jersey. we've now created 60,000 new private sector jobs since i've been grapefruit. before that of course we lost 116,000 private sector jobs in the last year of jon corzine. as of today new jersey state government has less employees than when christi whitman left office in 2001. we've made government smaller, smarter, less expensive and with a democratic legislature. now the president, if i ever had a filibuster-proof majority in my first two years, what do you think would have happened in new jersey? >> i think gail would be even more upset. >> gail from new jersey. >> you going to play that clip again? i know barnicle loves it. >> i do. >> it's jersey, baby. that's what it is. talking about my kids. ends it. >> you know what this gets to? it's something that we have been talking about endlessly for the past four years. >> your posture? >> no. government. government. you know, a guy comes in.
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the legislator comes in and there he need a curb cut by the end of the week on a state highway. you got to make the decision. >> guess what, mike? it has nothing to do with ideology. you can look at andrew cuomo who i didn't think was going to do well as governor of new york state. i don't agree with his tax increase but he comes in and he immediately leads. >> that was impressive. >> leaders. there is just something about leaders that they step in. you have to make a decision. >> let's ask chris christie about leadership. i've always talked about how much i like your style. >> despite the fact you're veering off the boulevard on the left shoulder. >> here we are. we are two weeks from iowa or is it less than? and we spend a lot of time talking about newt gingrich, a lot of time talking about president obama and you've criticized him greatly on this set. >> and outside this set. >> and in your work in new jersey you certainly have made your mark. you have the style -- >> thank you. >> and approach people remember and many people respect. here is my question.
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why are we talking about newt gingrich and president obama when mitt romney is your candidate? i want to know why he can't own the stage in the same way. what is the problem there? i'll ask him this question as well. >> sure. >> do you think he has a problem owning the stage? >> well, listen. >> and knowing how to do it yourself very well? >> well, listen. everybody has different styles. certainly everybody can agree mitt romney and i don't have the same style. mitt would admit that himself. that's fine. the fact is i don't think -- let's talk about candidates who own the stage. ronald reagan didn't own the stage in 1980 at this time. he lost iowa to george bush 41. george bush 41 didn't own the stage at this point. he lost iowa. and had to fight for his life in new hampshire. >> came in third place. >> behind pat robertson. my point is that at this stage you're not expecting someone to own the stage. you know when they own the stage? when they actually get votes and win. that's what we know. they don't own the stage because of polls and they don't because of style exclusively. listen, do i wish that mitt
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would be a little edgier and bolder? sure. i told him that. and i've told him that privately. he knows i feel that way. but he is who he is. and so my point is, still if you look at his qualifications, if you look at what he's done, of the people standing up on that stage he is so far and away the best qualified person of the republicans to be president that i know my party is going to nominate him and when they do the president is going to be in for a fight. he will fight. >> we got to go. but sarah palin said yesterday that it's not too late. some candidates could still jump into the race. >> it's too late. >> come on. it's way too late. >> do you wish looking back now with the chaos do you wish that you may have -- >> no. i do not have a moment of regret. not even a bit of regret. i don't at all. >> you could be going on book tours selling books. >> what is he going to say, joe? come on. >> i don't have regret and here is why. i love the job i'm doing. how can you feel bad if you're the governor of new jersey? >> and you just drive across the
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river and here's mika. >> here i am. let me tell you something. today we made a connection. >> you're lecturing. >> no. what i was doing was reopening her mind which has been closed by some folks. >> it's an intervention. >> thank you so much for the education. >> not an education. it's already in there, mika. >> you just have to set it free. >> get it out. >> thank you, governor christie for being here. >> we love you. >> merry christmas. >> thanks for coming in. >> happy new year. >> coming up republican presidential candidate mitt romney will join us right here on the set. plus new york city mayor michael bloomberg and regis will also be here. >> fabulous. >> regis! >> he is the best. >> you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. >> you don't send your children to public schools. you send them to private schools. so i was wondering why you think it's fair to be cutting school funding to public schools. >> what is her name? >> what's her name, guys, real quick? >> wallace it? >> gail. >> talk to gail. >> gail, you know what? first off it's none of your business. i don't ask you where you send
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live shot of the white house. a beautiful day in washington, d.c. it is 26 past the hour. >> you know what's beautiful? >> what? yeah? oh, well. good lord. between that and the barney frank, mike barnicle -- >> you can't even compare. >> i can. >> mika, listen. there is something about that suit today. i tell you. sitting in that chair making me uncomfortable. >> joining us now head of the government accountability office and founder and president and ceo of come back america initiative david walker.
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he's got the vest on. >> love that vest. >> in washington pulitzer prize winning columnist and msnbc political analyst eugene robinson. once again, good to have you back on the show. eugene has a piece in "the washington post" today, which candidate should answer that 3:00 a.m. phone call? yes it's about that time to be asking that question. >> gene, what's the answer? >> well i don't think, it is certainly not newt. you don't want newt answering any 3:00 a.m. phone calls. and, you know, i was talking about north korea. mitt romney, if you look at his website his position on north korea seems to be basically conventional but he came out with what i think is an intemperate statement yesterday essentially calling for regime change. we all want regime change. it is certainly not president l presidential-like to kind of dance on kim jong-il's grave at a moment when we really don't know what's going on or who was
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in control of the nuclear weapo weapons. >> dave walker, we also want somebody that can handle the debt crisis we have. one of the big problems is the fact that most americans, mika and i see this. we go and give speeches and the people who come out and watch us give speeches are not people that watch the kardashians. they are people that read "the times" or "wall street journal" and are really engaged. yet i am shocked, shocked at the lack of knowledge some people have about what is driving our long-term debt. if you talk about medicare some people say oh, it's not medicare. it's foreign aid. you guys are doing something about it. >> the come back america initiative today, this morning, is releasing a nationwide poll. representative sample of registered voters that really does two things. one, it shows that about 90% of americans recognize that escalating deficits and mounting debt burdens represent a threat to america's future and our way of life. and at the same time, only about
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50% really understand the facts. to get a score of about 90 on wisdom and about 50 on knowledge and so we've got to close that gap. >> what do they not understand? what do most americans not know as far as facts go? >> well, for example, on the social insurance program side, a lot of people don't understand that very few americans pay for their social security and medicare benefits by that i mean -- >> people say wait a second. i pay in -- >> they do. >> i've paid for my benefits. i deserve my benefits. i've heard it at every town hall -- >> what they don't understand are things for example the people who voluntarily sign up for medicare's part d and b programs, prescription out payments and drugs on average pay about 25% of the cost through their premium. in addition a lot of people don't understand that people, the top 1% of americans have an average or median effective income tax rate of less than 20%. you know, they don't understand that social security is adding the deficits because the deficits are calculated on a cash flow basis.
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>> right. >> they don't understand that we're in worse condition than many of the european nations that are in the news now. and we are temporary safe haven because of our status and reserve currency status. >> and gene robinson it all comes down to numbers. the fact of the matter is, maybe we take in maybe 16% in taxes for our gdp. we spend 26%. >> yeah. >> it's just math. we've got to close that gap. do we have a political system that is going to allow us to close that gap? >> well, apparently we don't. not right now. i mean, the gap is ridiculous. there was no way you can close it with spending cuts alone and you can't close it and certainly not long term with tax increases alone. you have to do both. and you have to do both in a sensible way. the other thing you have to do, you know, when we say that medicare is a huge long-term problem and it is, you have to i
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think look beyond that. what's driving medicare costs is the cost of health care. the escalating cost of health care. and unless we deal with that fundamentally in some way, we're going to be either paying in medicare or some other subsidy. >> what the hell did we do for a year and a half when the president got elected? this is my concern, gene. i want you to respond. we'll talk today. this is my concern. i'm hearing more and more people say that and when i hear them say oh, let's not talk about medicare, let's talk about reforming the whole system, that allows some to kick the can down the road on medicare and even longer periods of time. the fact is medicare is going what, 6%, 7% per year? it has to be 3% or 4%. the numbers just don't add up. >> it's not a question of kicking the can down the road t is the big can being kicked down the road. if those costs continue to rise, we can cut people off medicare. we can limit eligibility. we can have a whole lot of sick,
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old people who are very angry. >> come on now. >> and end up subsidizing them in some way. >> gene, are you running for congress? >> he is not. i'm not talking about throwing granny in the street. i'm talking about slowing down the rate of growth. this is an issue of math. >> that is the new four-letter word, math. but the fact is gene's right. 3/4 of americans in this survey or poll believe that we're going to need both spending reductions and higher revenues as compared to historical averages to solve our problem. in addition to that, they want action. they want people to reach across the aisle. they want principle based compromise. they are tired quite frankly of people arguing about payroll tax cuts and pipelines, you know, which you can have different opinions on, but we're ignoring the real problem. we're in an over $60 trillion hole that grows by several
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trillion dollars a year by doing nothing and people are talking about let's do these things to give tax preferences or spend more money and just pay for it. look, we're in a deep hole. we can't just pay for things. we have to figure out how to have a plan to put our finances in order. >> look, i'm a member of the come back america initiative board. i salute what the comptroller has done and is doing. you know, we haven't -- we act as if this is almost impossible. we've had a number of suggestions and recommendations over the past several months, probably the most prominent being the simpson/bowles recommendations. i think which in many ways talk about changing the tax code but asking the wealthiest and those who are most fortunate, most blessed, to give up some of their entitlement benefits. we talk about it as if it's impossible to do. it can be done. the question is whether or not the -- to joe's point and mika's point is when will elected officials have the courage to do it? they had mark mckina on the show last week who put forward the
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new no labels ideas which said if washington can't put forward a budget and make sensible decisions cut their pay. there are some basic things every american understands. if i don't do my job i don't get paid. if you don't do yours you don't get paid. vice versa. >> hold on a second. >> you have to set a standard. >> we get your point. >> i'm involved in no labels right. if you don't do your job you don't get paid and you don't get retroactive pay. last thing, on the online poll we're doing the online survey as well and all of you have committed to complete it and i appreciate it. it's fiscal we've had about 12,000 people do it so far. guess what? elected officials average ten points lower than the population. >> all elected officials? >> only ten? >> my goodness. >> only ten. there is hope. >> gene, we will all take it and of course we won't tell people what the results are. >> no we won't.
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>> so what is our way forward, gene? what do you think? how do we get movement from the left on medicare? how do we get movement from the right on tax reform? how do we get there? >> i don't know. i really don't know at this point. i think you could get movement from the left on medicare. the president certainly has been willing to move on medicare. and i think he could bring the rest of the party along but probably not until after the election. how do we get republicans to move on taxes? i don't know. is the political system broken? looks like it. >> it is. >> and how do we fix it? i don't think the next election is going to fix everything. >> then we need to talk when you come back about how we fix this political system. it can be done. >> absolutely. >> by the way, zeke emanuel, ari e-mailed me -- i love brothers that stick together. zeke has a good column in the
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"new york times." >> eugene robinson, thank you very much. we'll be reading your column at "the washington post" and, david walker, thank you as well. >> look at that vest. >> focus in on that vest, guys. that is pretty. >> yes. >> here you go. >> you can find td quiz. >> how is that? >> wow. >> we need a quiz about that vest. >> i think i know the answer. we'll welcome mitt romney to the set coming up. plus could new york city become the next silicon valley? >> of course it could. >> we'll talk to the mayor about a new investment in technology. mayor michael bloomberg. and the president of cornell university. more "morning joe" in just a moment. progresso. it fits! fantastic! [ man ] pro-gresso they fit! okay-y... okay??? i've been eating progresso and now my favorite old okay is there a woman i can talk to?
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good morning. welcome to "morning joe."
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this is exciting. 43 past the hour. >> the president of cornell with
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us. >> joining us now. >> i never thought i'd see the day. >> we also have the mayor of new york city, mayor michael bloomberg. and president of cornell university, president david xortin. new york is entering a new partnership with cornell and the institute of technology to build an applied sciences campus on new york city's roosevelt island. that's huge news. >> very exciting. >> there were a lot of other places and schools in competition but i'd like to know first of all how this happened because i would take it the competition, mr. mayor, was -- >> the head of our economic corporation had this idea. they should get all the credit for this. they put out requests for proposals. we had something like 27 schools that applied and then it was whittled down. finally seven finalists. a couple were eliminated early because they just didn't have the resources and it got down to four i think it was and cornell came in with the best proposal by far. the city is going to put in free
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land. we have a piece of land that's great. and environmentally fine. and a hundred million dollars in infrastructure. then cornell is going to build something that is going to change new york city. >> what is your vision? how do you want -- >> we all talk about education being the key to having a good life and being able to be self-sufficient. education, education, education. particularly in the sciences. we need more math and science teachers in high schools. cornell is going to teach some of them as part of this. we need more people -- and entrepreneurs to start businesses. israel has more companies listed on nasdaq than all of europe put together. it is one of the high tech centers. and cornell has an engineering school that is right up there with the top ones. together, they are really going to create an awful lot of graduate students who go out, start businesses where they went to school. you saw that out in california. a lot of the companies located in palo alto, a great place to live, but the real reason they're there is that is where these people went to school.
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in the end it's -- >> it becomes a magnet. it feeds on itself. >> joe, if you want to be successful in business you have to have the right people and we have to have enough engineers so these companies, google opened a block square building here, facebook started to put engineers here. >> right. >> microsoft has a few thousand people. bloomberg, thompson, reuters, all these companies are adding engineers here. there just aren't enough of them. this is going to help solve the problem. >> isn't that fascinating that there aren't in america today enough high tech engineers to fill a lot of jobs? that google, intel, apple need filled. >> it's true. the mayor is being modest. although mr. pinsky and mr. steel supposedly had this idea, here is a tech entrepreneur of his generation. >> right. >> so the idea is you get a good idea and the new york twist on this, the new york spin -- >> the frustrating thing for him though is he had this great idea. he was never able to monetize it. almost like other people took
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advantage of it. he could never really turn that great idea into money. >> my handler in my ear is telling me don't touch this. you cannot win on this. just stay away from it. stay on your message. don't get into thing. >> anyway, you're exactly right. he was ahead of his time. >> what he points out is that all these pieces in the new york city economy are already moving in that direction. he just named a bunch of them. but the talent pool needs to be expanded. so i have no illusions that this one campus is going to turn the whole business upside down but it is going to be a piece of the puzzle. we are going to reach out to k-12. we're going to try hard to touch 10,000 students a year. we're going to teach 200 teachers and try to do our best to touch the k-12 students. >> this is great for cornell. >> it is. >> i lived in elmira corning area for -- >> i knew i liked you. >> beautiful area. >> for five years. there always seems to be a disconnect between that part of upstate new york and the city. >> yeah. >> this is a great partnership that's good for new york but good for cornell. >> it is. and you know i think the most
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exciting thing to me right now in this election season is that we don't have to roll over and die for lack of a way to create jobs. this is an example if you'll permit me of a public/private governmental partnership. it's government, private industry, and higher education. >> right. >> this city has a lot of great higher education institutions. we'll be inclusive not exclusive. but we want all the ships to rise. the main idea i'm getting across is it's the government, the private sector, and it's higher education. i think this could be a model that could be replicated across the country. >> there are a couple others still in the running. we haven't eliminated them. we said we'd try to finish up the selection process by early in january. cornell was so far ahead and when stanford decided it just didn't fit at the moment and hopefully some day stanford comes back. we'd love to have them back. it's a phenomenal university and i think it would be great for them and great for the city. there are still some others in competition and we'll try to see if we can't do some more between now and then.
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you can't have enough people coming out of schools with great skills who want to live in the city and this is the future. immigration, education. we've got to open our borders and improve public education across this country. two things that the political process does not seem to be able to do. >> let me ask you about that. here, look at what you're doing. look at this. this is what's not -- >> things are being done, if you look across the country, at the city level not at the state level not at the federal level. the environmental agenda in this country is all driven at the city level. people who are rational about immigration, say we need people to work here, we need this, it's the city level. balanced budgets? cities have to balance their budgets. states print money. the federal government prints money, states just spend on the deficit. >> so are you able to get what you were doing done because you're not directly affiliated with washington? >> no. we have the toughest gun laws in the country in new york state thanks to the state legislature. they did a good job on that.
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but yesterday the high point of my day was being with david scortin announcing the cornell thing. in the morning i i was at a funeral for a police officer who was killed with an illegal hand gun for someone who never should have been out on the streets. we have more guns than people. this is insanity. innocent people and our brave cops are getting kill and nobody has the courage to stand up and do something. we have an organization and the mayor's coalition against illegal guns and it's working and lobbying in washington and trying to get publicity. one of these days the public will stand up and say we are not going to take it anymore. this is insanity. the second amendment is fine, but the federal law said you can't sell guns to criminals and minors and psychiatric problems
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and we don't enforce those laws. >> this is so dysfunctional and it's precisely because of this. we will investing in things that will grow the city and our economy. america is the greatest experiment in the world. we are going miss you when you have to leave because you think along this plain and create these partnerships. cornell is a terrific partner for the city for all the reasons you mentioned. the best hospitals affiliated with cornell and the next wave can be led by what this president and mayor are about to do here. >> we can offer him a job and get our money's worth. >> you have to go and i want to ask you a couple of quick questions. why can't washington and you talked about immigration, why can't they get their arms around the question where they say i
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agree. every ph.d., you should turn it around and let the best and the brightest stay and create jobs in america. >> where the first caucus will and people say they are very conservative, 80 odd percent of the people think we should have a rational policy. we are not going to deport 80 million people and make sure they have problems and fix them and learn english and whatever. the potential candidates and elected officials are so cowered by a small group of the local minority. it's easy to fix this country, but i don't think anybody seems to be willing to do it. get rid of the bush era tax cuts and let everybody pay more and we need to make sacrifices. everybody has to help, particularly the middle class because that's where the money is and adopt the cuts and you
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would generate $8 trillion and the deficit reduction in ten years and you would see an out pouring of confidence and banks start to lend and companies go crazy. it's the first country that doesn't do it. >> one final thing. are you going to be the one to lead us here? we have a line waiting for you. what say you, mr. mayor? >> i have a commitment for four years i'm going to honor. i have a great job. >> i don't believe you. >> i have a great job. i love america. every part of the country i have been in i love. i would rather live in new york, but everybody has a different part. when people pick up their families and get rid of everything they know and leave it behind and move, drive, fly,
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swim to a place for a better life where they can practice their religion and be in control of their destiny they come to the united states and don't come to china or any other place. they come to america. it's the great strength and if you want to fix the problem, bring in immigrants and you can fix that problem overnight at relatively zero cost. we have to keep adding to what made america great and the public around the world wants to do that. we are keeping them from doing it. what i call national suicide. you can fix this. >> on that note, mayor michael bloomberg. >> thanks a lot. >> congratulations to you both. mitt romney stops by the set, plus the one and only regis will be here. you are watching "morning joe,"
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>> isn't it time for a president who looks like a 1970s game show host? >> what's up, gangstas, it's the mi double 'tisle. my new cosloan now available at macy's. newt gingrich, really? >> and the number one thing mitt
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romney would like to say to the american people. >> it's a hairpiece. >> it was well done. welcome back to "morning joe." joining us now is former republican governor of massachusetts and presidential candidate, mitt romney. >> good to see you. >> thanks, joe. >> it's crazy out there. can you believe how things are churning and the 24-7 news cycle. you have a new person rising every week and falling the next week. i was looking at a magazine article that says the cain factor. he's gone! >> remember him? >> why is this happening and why is there such a violent turn over in the republican party? >> i think the republican party voters want to see barack obama out of office and make sure they get the person who can take him out. they are taking a close look at
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the person who is most effective in going after the president and in some cases the more insendiary gets it. >> is that because you are not a bomb-thrower? >> i have been either at the top or next to the top throughout the process. everybody else has gone from a low number to a high 1 and back down again. to be steady through this and build support overtime and a good sign. >> i saw this past weekend on fox sunday, i thought the part that was most fascinating to me was talking about your personal life. you don't talk about it much. you don't leave with we know your wife and kids and it's not that you are ashamed of them, but you don't talk about your time overseas as a missionary so
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much. are you going start doing that more? >> part of it depends on what you are asked. >> so what was it like being a mormon missionary for two years overseas? >> it was a dramatic experience and a shift in what i had known. i had been in america and came from a family that was prosperous and found myself in a little income category. >> no indoor plumbing? >> some of the apartments yes and some no. at the end of the mission, i lived in a church headquarters, but the first two years we lived quite poor. a lot of rejection living in america. as i was speaking in broken french, theyed say are you american and i would say yes. they would close the door. >> they open phone books and make calls and if they get one,
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it's a good hour. >> absolutely. >> talk about war rejections as a missionary knocking on door after door. >> i spend five months in a town in france. the population was a quarter of a million people. we knocked from morning until late in the evening and didn't convert one person in five months. you understand rejection, you know that's a pretty high level of rejection and you get used to it. what do i believe and what's important to me and you don't measure yourself and your success by how other people react, but about the things you care about. >> how did the missionary work shape you as a man. >> i came more concerned about the things important to me and less concerned about what others thought about me. that's something you have as you go through an experience where you are received not in a hostile way, but some people
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thought i was a salesman and some thought i was an american, true, but some thought i was a missionary, also true. in each case they rejected me. i had to maintain my confidence in myself. >> i'm taking notes. we have known and you covered you for a couple of years and love your family and love your wife. your personal story is impressive and professional story is incredibly impressive, yet there is this sort of constant conversation that you can't close the deal with the base. why do you think that is at this stage in the game given that this is your second run for the presidency which historically is good for a republican candidate. >> if you look over history and say how many people have been able to get to 25% of the support in their party this early when there eight or nine candidates, not many get that high. john mccain, 20 to 25%. myself and fred thompson, a lot
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of good people are running for president. some like rick santorum or michele bachmann. my object civ to get about a third of the votes in the first month and 40% in the second and 55 or 60 in the next month of this process and get the delegates i need to be nominee. >> here's what's dogged you. you changed over the years. the word flip flopper has come and gone with your name. how do you translate that criticism into a quality that you can sell to the voters at this point? the argument is and the complaint is that they don't really know what you stand for? >> the nice thing that people had to go for in my case is i have a record. i was governor for four years. you can look at my record and see what i did and my beliefs
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were evident. i balanced the budget and fought to put in place a system that made sure our kids would only graduate if they pass an exam. we also had english emersion that we put in place in schools. these experiences that i had as governor demonstrate a conservatism that people want to see and i ran for office and the positions i have four years ago are what i campaign on today. i wrote a book and wrote out my vision for america. have i become more conservative over the years? yeah. if you have been through the experience i have through. as a governor, i'm a liberal state and the policies the liberals wanted in place, you become more conservative as you are convinced that they are wrong and you are right. >> they suggested maybe you should make the argument that you were governor of
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massachusetts and not governor of texas or oklahoma. no way as you ran as a pro life and pro gun, anti-gay marriage candidate you would have gotten elected. can you say i had to be pragmatic and now that i am running nationally i can talk more about how i really feel? >> i understand in the world of politic that is the people around me that are running against me are going to create a narrative that help them and hurt me. can look at my record as governor and if you look at it, there is a conservative republican in a state that was 85% democrat. on the issue of life, i came down very clearly on the side of life. i am pro life. the first time the bill reached my desk that dealt with embryonic research, i vetoed the
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bill. i vetoed a bill for a morning after pill for young girls. that was a pro life record. did that change? yeah, i became dramatically more conservative when i faced a bill which would have taken human life. >> newt gingrich obviously is your greatest challenge right now. would you call newt the front-runner? >> the latest polls show him leading nationally and the lead is not as much as it used to be, but that is sort of the process that others have gone through. they have gone up and down and i expect he will lead until he doesn't lead. >> he said she more conservative than you. how would you respond? >> the two big issues in the last five or years. one is cap and trade. the democrats pushed it and newt
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gingrich sat down with nancy pelosi and pushed the cap and trade legislation. that is not conservative leadership. the other big issue was the issue taken by almost every republican to say we need to reform medicare to make sure it's sustainable. these republicans took a courageous vote and what did he do? newt gingrich said this is right wing social engineering. on the two big issues, not 10 or 15 or 20 years ago, but in our time on the two big conservative issues, he came down on the side of the liberals. for him to say she more conservative is a bit of a stretch. >> the third big issue focused on is barack obama's health care plan. on health care, don't you and newt gingrich share the belief in the need for an individual
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mandate? >> actually the idea of a mandate came from newt gingrich and the heritage foundation. we did something different. they were talking about a federal mandate which is what barack obama did. i opposed the idea of a federal mandate from the beginning and said we will craft a plan that works for our state and other states can learn from it or take a different course. he had a federal mandate in the history and only recently exchanged. >> this is definitely something we can relate on. >> that's bad news. time to run. make sure he is lectured. >> and newt gingrich. it's an interesting question. i'm fascinated by this. you look at how he is doing with the polls. you don't live and die by the polls, but you can test the waters and see how things are going. figure out if your message is
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communicated effectively. what does this tell you about his party? >> we have seen herman cain at the top and rick perry at the top and michele bachmann and donald trump. they have all led at one time or another and people take a closer look. when someone hasn't been inspected, you project on them you think are true for an ideal candidate. people who are a little older who recall history and for young people coming along and other who is didn't watch it carefully, i think there is a lot that i learned about newt gingrich they didn't know. i remembered him as the guy who crafted the contract with america which was a successful approach to get republicans elected into the house. >> as a leader and certainly you can appreciate as a leader how
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hard it was for newt gingrich to return to the republican party and the majority of the generation balance the budget that you ought to help. he balanced the budget for the first time in a generation four years in a row for the first time since the 1920s and passed welfare reform. he has done a lot of really good things for the conservative movement. >> he sure has and you acknowledge that. no question about it. the contract and the success of welfare reform was something for which he deserves credit. >> i will say that's very kind of you having said that. what does it say if your party were to move forward and nominate newt gingrich? >> it would have missed a great opportunity to nominate me. >> there is that. >> i think i'm in the best position to replace president
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obama. i think the only way we will get president obama out of the white house -- because it's hard to replace an incumbent. we need someone who who is different than a lifelong politician. we have one in the white house right now and there is nothing wrong with that. we don't want someone who spent their life in washington can beat him. my private sector gives me credibility on the economy and creating jobs that president obama doesn't have. that will make the difference. >> let's talk about that. newt gingrich attacked you for what you did. are you crowd of your work? >> i'm proud of the private sector. no question that speaker gingrich and much more significantly the dnc and president obama will put free enterprise on trial.
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>> they said you threw people out of jobs and you were responsible for people getting fired. >> i was responsible for four enterprises and all of them were successful and gree. we invested in over 100 different businesses. many were successful and added lots and lots of jobs and some were not. that is the nature of free enterprise. someone thinks they can find a way that every enterprise is all or successful, they are not living in a free enterprise system, but living in a system like the old soviet union where the government insists they add employment. i believe that free enterprise works and other models have been proven to be failures time and time again and i was surprised to have newt gingrich pick up the story line that came from barack obama and the dnc and go on the attack. >> you win iowa?
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>> that's hard to predict. they want to win every state. >> you think you can? >> all things are possible. i hope to do well. when we got into this, iowa would be a stretch and new hampshire, we hope to do well. >> do you have to win new hampshire? >> i don't think you have to win anything. the only thing you have to win is 1150 delegates. some people have gone down and come back. if one of the people on the stage doesn't win the first two, i wouldn't write them off. one could come and surge from nothing to high numbers very quickly. >> is it possible this goes all the way to the convention? >> that's possible. i don't think it is likely, but it's possible that this goes a long way. we built enough resources and raised enough money to have a campaign to go to the end. >> they ran a clip of them
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earlier and talked about you had former aides that spending a couple of million attacking them. you should tell them to stop the attacks against newt gingrich. would you do that? >> it's illegal as you probably know. super packs have to be separate. i'm not allowed to coordinate that. we go to the big house. this is a strange thing. i think that's a disaster. campaign law made a momry of our campaign season and we have to let campaigns raise the money they need and get rid of the super packs. >> pancakes. >> we know how to make them well. >> in new hampshire and iowa, the secret is butter milk and i tried.
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i tried to cook them like ann did. it was a disaster. anyhow. governor romney, thank you very much. best of luck to you. >> thank you. >> regis is here. >> this is huge! a dream ticket! >> romney and regis. >> that's next on "morning joe." i can't keep a secret, so i'm doing christmas last minute... well, this necklace is awesome. honey, you're getting a necklace! see what i mean? i'll surprise you. please. [ male announcer ] the only place to go for last-minute christmas gifts. walmart. so i used my citi thank you card to pick up some accessories. a new belt.
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precisely where you need it most. precise. only from the makers of tylenol. you can put a force field on him and be invisible! [ child 2 ] i call first player. no. i already called it. [ dad ] nobody's playing anything until after we get our homework done. thank you. hello? test drive's not over yet. [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. [ louder ] hello? but we still need your signature. right now during sign then drive, it's never been easier to get the all-new passat, the 2012 motor trend car of the year, for practically just your signature. that's the power of german engineering. visit
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>> it's regis? i'm back. >> help me. i'm stuck here with osama bin lonely. >> i don't need a date. >> if you miss being on tv so much, why did you leave regis and kelly? >> i was going to tie balloons to my house and fly the whole thing and land on the best seats in the house. >> god, i missed you. >> at the very beginning, 4 1/2 years ago, they were playing the fight song. griffin asked me why i wanted to do this show. it's brutal. except for one reason. one day if i work hard enough and wake up at 3:30 enough mornings and stay up until 10:00
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enough nights, one day regis just might come on my set. >> finally he's here! >> the author of the new book, how i got this way. here it is. >> explain it. >> i was on yesterday and i just wanted to see what the studio looked like and i took a peek. i watch the show in the mornings and love the way that the table is designed to take all of these guests at once. i think it's the best political show on television. >> thank you very much. >> the stuff on sunday. you have time and you have guys who know what they are talking about. >> look at this. you talking about barnacle? >> absolutely. last time i saw him was in the men's room of circle restaurant. >> don't go there. >> he something profound to say to me which i can't say right
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now. >> this is going off the rails too soon. >> do you miss it? >> i don't miss it. i don't know. i'm looking for something else. kwle i don't know what it is. >> downhill skiing? >> maybe. >> i love what they said about your farewell show. she said that -- >> that was a butcher. i sent barnacle after her. she murdered me. >> what are? you kidding? >> she said in the end you were irreplaceable. >> to get there and read everything she said -- >> it was a long and winding road. >> she's a man killer. >> you read a review like joe does. you cannot see the positive?
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>> the last line. >> let's talk about your book. why did you write it? when did you write it? how did you write it? >> long hand. i don't type. i was writing passages about the people i met along the way, something i wanted to remember. all of a sudden it grew and grew and i was at a party for harper collins for susan lucci. they said did you write anything and this could be a book. >> i first came in contact with you when i was down in the northwest watching you. you would let letterman use you as a punching bag. you are one of the few people who stayed in contact with david letterman. most people say that's kind of
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stranger. you two seemed to have something. >> i knew all of the guys from steve allen. i think dave letterman -- i'm sorry, i think he is the best we have ever had in that position. >> we were talking about this earlier. he influenced the art of comedy over the past 25 years the way nobody has. the movies we go to. funny guy. >> you guys have done the show. >> letterman? >> no. >> we would love to. it would be a great honor. look at this for david letterman. sometimes it's like the old avis commercials. you know people are just not trying. he took it about abraham lincoln. >> that's right. is it too silly that regis
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replaces abraham lincoln. >> you are the abraham lincoln of tv. you talked about letterman. me who else. through the years, can you think of one person that you met where you went that guy has it. i asked this by the way of jerry weintraub and he surprised me with elvis and sinatra. he said ronald reagan filled up a room like nobody. >> let me -- we mentioned a lot of people. reagan started my show in 1961 in san diego. it was a late night saturday night show that was live. it was my beginning. all of a sudden we had reagan as a guest. he happened to be in san diego that weekend. i was the producer of the show. i called his office and he will come and he came down the hill from the hotel and sat down with
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me and we have this way before. i didn't even think of it in terms of politics, but he had a fresh appeal. he was terrific. he talked about this country and what he loved about it and his growing up in the midwest and so forth. such an appealing guy that after the show was over i said to my director, tom, we had a lot of guests on the show, but this guy is incredible. he really is. about three years later, he became governor. of california. one night by that time i was on the joey bishop show. joey thought it would be nice for regis to meet the governor. i already met him. he remembered that interview and i remembered it of course. when did this happen? reagan was a sensation will guest. over the years, to sit with joe dimaggio for 20 minutes alone,
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me and the yankee clipper. are you listening to me? >> i'm listening, man. >> it's interesting when you talk about people who stood out over the years. you went through a transition where you had to pick a new cohost and huh incredible success with kathie lee and with kelly. what is the key to a good cohost? >> you have to be patient. >> especially with kathie lee. >> and get in their swing of things. you know what i mean? work with their personality and charisma and that helps a lot. >> that's what you do so well. >> yesterday this young kid was showing me around who works for brian williams and she said about months ago, i was just like you were years ago. i gave a speech that i was there. you were telling them what you
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should do thaw department do. express yourself and tell people what you top the do and how and how you can help them doing it. she said and so i did that and i'm no longer doing that. i am working on the production show. >> she put on a clean shirt because it's an important day. >> it's like a bucket list thing. number one on the bucket list. i just checked it off. nobody knows better than you the tv camera is like an mri. people get a sense of what you are and feel who you are watching on tv. why are you such a happy person? >> i don't know. i don't follow politics that closely. is that a good reason. >> that it do it. >> that are will do it. >> i don't know, mike. people have asked me that too. i don't think it's an act.
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i just feel like having a good time. i just tell you one story about expressing yourself and one night on the joey bishop show years ago in the 60s, bishop said i want you to go into the audience and find a young man and ask him what he wants to do with his life. that's one thing i could never do. i couldn't tell anybody they wanted to be a part of television. i wanted to host my own show. it wasn't until i saw jack par r do it that maybe that was my talent. anyway, i go into the audience and this young guy stands up and i said you heard what joey said, he wants to know where you want to go in this country and what do you want to become? the young guy could not answer. a young goy in glasses. i said this is me growing up, unable to express m prespress m.
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i said just take it easy and relax. what do you hope happens to you? could not answer. i had a little fun. i said good luck to you and i moved on. 35 years later, i'm at a movie here in new york and it's the preview of the movie. the guy was running and peggy segal said let me introduce you to somebody. there was this fellow surrounded by four guys and he is talking to them and talking and i said this guy doesn't even know who i am. let me get away from here. i feel like i'm crowding the bunch. i started to walk away quietly and a voice said regis, don't leave. i want to talk to you. i waited and he came over. he said years ago, i was at the joey bishop show as a young kid. you came into the audience and you wanted to talk to young people about their hopes and
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dreams and i stood up and i looked at you and i could not come up with the answer. couldn't do it. you gave me another shot and couldn't do it. for the rest of my life, every time i see you on television, i get that pang in my stomach. that guy is steven speilberg. do you believe that? that all came back to me. i use that because it's a life lesson. tell people what you want! >> that are is an amazing story. i was so afraid that story was going to end and it was going to be kim jung il. thank god it was steven speilberg. >> you don't think this guy is funny. >> or abraham lincoln. >> let's keep this going. i think that kim jung il, sammy davis jr. story is coming up
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after the break. >> let me tell you something, this book will change your life. we say that all the time, but this one really will change your life. we will be right back. the commander in chief of garden and gun magazine. this new at&t 4g lte is fast. did you hear sam... promoted to director? so 12 seconds ago. we should get him a present. thanks for the gift basket. you're welcome. you're welcome. did you see hr just sent out new... rules? cause you're currently in violation of 6 of them. oh yeah, baby? ...and 7. did you guys hear that fred is leaving? so 30 seconds ago. [ noisemakers blow ] [ both ] we'll miss you! oh, facecake! there's some leftover cake. [ male announcer ] the new htc vivid. stay a step ahead with at&t 4g lte,
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>> in the new issue, a huge piece on modern day moonshine. >> of course. we knew when we had regis we wanted to book you right after. he is looking for a second career now and we understand that moonshine is not only big in the south, but big everywhere. >> it is big everywhere. the roots are southern, but what's happening is this movement towards moonshine and that is a little bit legal. the legal version of moonshine made in north carolina. this woman moved from texas. >> i had a friend in lancaster, pennsylvania. >> it makes you go blind. and a few other things. >> me about moonshine. why has it taken off again?
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>> it's a natural thing where we have been through this craze that everybody loves. moonshine is the next step. you get in from the farmer down the road and you are making your own whiskey. it's the american spirit. they are the biggest distiller in the country. >> it's going north. >> absolutely. >> say i want to decide to make moonshine. >> you need corn and sugar and you need a still and yeast. >> that's easy. >> that's the reason why it's spreading. it would be illegal if you made it without a permit, but that's why it is spreading. it's easy to do and moonshine takes the flavor of a lot of thing. nowadays you mix it with peaches and not the stuff you put in the carburator anymore. it's pretty good. >> why do we deliver it?
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in the 1958 olds mobile. >> this woman never had moonshine in her life. her neighboring brought her moonshine as a gift. >> tell kathily to take a sip. >> i dare you. >> take a quick sip. >> she had some before. >> that's illegal. she finally got some and said this is the kind you don't share. she tasted it and thought wow, this is good stuff. i have to make this for the rest of the country. >> is that strong? how are you doing? >> wow. pretty good. >> don't leave. stay with us. >> so regis, this is our thing.
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not having a drink, but the first strike on the business. we take the moonshine to her lips and tj cuts away to a point offset. i don't know if we got the drink or not. how are you doing? >> it's good. take another sip. >> i drink vodka. that's stronger. >> that are has a bit of a tequila taste to it. she wanted to be something that guys can sip or women can make mixed drinks with. >> where do we buy it? >> i can help you out quick. 45 states or so, you get online and it gets shipped the way you want it. >> dave, thank you so much. it's gone. make sure to pick it up.
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it changed his life. more with regis when we come back. nyquil (st uffy
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>> i went to the copa cabana
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years ago and there was dean and jerry. i read about them and heard about them, but never had seen them in person. they were phenomenal. lewis came outbreaking dishes and raising hell and he was funny. dean martin came out and i could hear by the set up lines he was giving jerry, he was just as funny. even better looking than jerry and saying a beautiful song. but dean out in hollywood was always out playing golf with his friends. very little rehearsal for the shows and one day i was in the entertainment editor of kabc and i went to the studios to see burt reynolds making a movie. dean and sammy davis had the cameo roles in the movies.
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he said go inside. there i am alone with dean and i was telling them all about the copa cabana and how years later, i was working in the plastics factory in long island during the summer. it was at midnight to 8:00 in the morning. the only way to get out was listen to the dean i told them that story and he said what was the name of that? sing it to me. i hadn't sung the song ever. i remembered it and i saying the whole thing to dean. at the end of that, dean said it's a nice song, but i never saying it. i know he saying it. i know he saying it because i had it on the apollo record. it was stupid to waste all that time. that was the end. i had dean right there. >> and you blew it.
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>> how did you blow your time with bing crosby? >> it's a terrible story. >> when i was a kid growing up in new york city -- >> my nightmare. >> wnew had a big crosby half hour 9:30 at night. this is in the late 30s and the depression is on and wrap your troubles in dreams and all the song that the songwriters were writing to bolster the hope of the american people. he would sing the songs beautifully and i was attracted to his voice. also all through my life i wanted to be bing crosby. my parents expected to tell them what i wanted to be. i said can you playpenies from heaven? he is waiting in the music hall
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and my mother and father arrive and i said don't say anything. we walk in. i sing pennies from heaven. as i am singing the song, my italian mother starts to cry. my irish father is making a fist like he's going to smack me in the nose. as soon as i finish this, you are absolutely right. i never am going to be bing crosby. it's a dream that i will give away and years go by, the show is as big as they get. i am going to sit right next to bing crosby. i used to tell him, what did you want to do? i wanted to be bing crosby. to get him to sing on the show, the bishop said bing, see this kid? the biggest fan you ever had. sing the song. bing crosby turns like this and sings a cappella.
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the bishop had never had enough. he said your turn. you sing a song. he knew all of the lyrics. i saying pennies from heaven to bing crosby. he crimes in, but here's the punch line. i never told him what he meant to me and i never wrote him a letter or made a phone call. i was too intimidated to say bing, this is how it started for me. you inspired me. i can't thank you enough. i never did that. ten years later. that was a great game. >> we'll be right back. >> what are we laughing at? what kind of a show is this? [ child ] it's so cool!
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you can put a force field on him and be invisible! [ child 2 ] i call first player. no. i already called it. [ dad ] nobody's playing anything until after we get our homework done. thank you. hello? test drive's not over yet. [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. [ louder ] hello? but we still need your signature. right now during sign then drive, it's never been easier to get the all-new passat, the 2012 motor trend car of the year, for practically just your signature. that's the power of german engineering. visit
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here's a look at the business travel forecast. rain will be heading through areas like tennessee, kentucky and ohio valley. atlanta and detroit and chicago, rain for and you not a lot of
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Morning Joe
MSNBC December 20, 2011 3:00am-6:00am PST

News/Business. Interviews with newsmakers and politicians; host Joe Scarborough. New.

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